Arab Women Writers

An Anthology of Short Stories

Edited and translated by Dalya Cohen-Mor
Introduction by Dalya Cohen-Mor

Subjects: Women's Studies, Fiction, Arab Literature
Series: SUNY series, Women Writers in Translation
Paperback : 9780791464205, 318 pages, May 2005
Hardcover : 9780791464199, 318 pages, May 2005

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Table of contents




Arab Women Writers: A Brief Sketch
Thematic Aspects
Modes of Writing
Arab Women: Old Images, New Profiles


Part One: Growing Up Female


Samiya At'ut (Palestine) That Summer Holiday
Umayma al-Khamis (Saudi Arabia) The Parting Gift
Nura Amin (Egypt) Let's Play Doctor
Radwa Ashour (Egypt) In the Moonlight
Buthayna al-Nasiri (Iraq) At the Beach
Mona Ragab (Egypt) A Helping Hand
Fawziya Rashid (Bahrain) In the Recesses of Memory
Sharifa al-Shamlan (Saudi Arabia) Fragments from a Life
Najiya Thamir (Syria) The Slave


Part Two: Love and Sexuality


Nawal al-Saadawi (Egypt) The Picture
Latifa al-Zayyat (Egypt) The Picture
Layla al-Uthman (Kuwait) The Picture
Nafila Dhahab (Tunisia) The Smile
Nura Amin (Egypt) My Mother's Friend
Hayat Bin al-Shaykh (Tunisia) A Worthless Woman


Part Three: Male-Female Relations


Colette Suhayl al-Khuri (Syria) Where To?
Layla Ba'labakki (Lebanon) The Cat
Fadila al-Faruq (Algeria) The Woman of My Dreams
Samiya At'ut (Palestine) Mozart's Fez
Samira Azzam (Palestine) A Virgin Continent
Nadiya Khust (Syria) An Old Couple


Part Four: Marriage


Ihsan Kamal (Egypt) A Mistake in the Knitting
Alifa Rifaat (Egypt) My Wedding Night
Sahar al-Muji (Egypt) The Dummy
Daisy al-Amir (Iraq) The Cat, the Maid, and the Wife
Hanan al-Shaykh (Lebanon) Sun, I Am the Moon
Zuhur Wanisi (Algeria) The Dreadful Sea
Mayy Ziyada (Palestine) The Lady with the Story
Hanan al-Shaykh (Lebanon) The Persian Rug
Aliya Mamdouh (Iraq) The Dream
Sakina Fuad (Egypt) Pharaoh Is Drowning Again


Part Five: Childbearing


Ihsan Kamal (Egypt) The Spider's Web
Rafiqat al-Tabi'a (Morocco) Man and Woman
Sufi Abdallah (Egypt) Half a Woman
Ramziya Abbas al-Iryani (Yemen) Heir Apparent
Daisy al-Amir (Iraq) The Newcomer


Part Six: Self-Fulfillment


Salwa Bakr (Egypt) International Women's Day
Layla Ba'labakki (Lebanon) The Filly Became a Mouse
Umayma al-Khamis (Saudi Arabia) Restoration
Umayma al-Khamis (Saudi Arabia) Waiting for Hayla
Sahar al-Muji (Egypt) The Closely Guarded Secret
Mona Ragab (Egypt) I Will Never Forfeit My Right
Fadila al-Faruq (Algeria) Homecoming
Zabya Khamis (United Arab Emirates) Bittersweet Memories


Part Seven: Customs and Values


Samira Azzam (Palestine) Tears for Sale
Ramziya Abbas al-Iryani (Yemen) Misfortune in the Alley
Fawziya Rashid (Bahrain) Questioning
Emily Nasrallah (Lebanon) The Dinosaur
Hadiya Sa'id (Lebanon) Moonstruck
Khayriya al-Saqqaf (Saudi Arabia) A Moment of Truth
Daisy al-Amir (Iraq) The Future
Suhayr al-Tall (Jordan) The Gallows


Part Eight: The Winds of Change


Ulfat al-Idilbi (Syria) The Breeze of Youth
Suhayr al-Qalamawi (Egypt) A Successful Woman
Radwa Ashour (Egypt) In Need of Reassurance
Nafila Dhahab (Tunisia) Short and Sassy
Samiya At'ut (Palestine) The Collapse of Barriers
Salwa Bakr (Egypt) The Beginning
Nuzha Bin Sulayman (Morocco) A Moment of Contemplation
Mona Ragab (Egypt) I Will Try Tomorrow



About the Authors

A collection of sixty short stories by women writers from across the Arab world.


Consisting of sixty short stories by forty women writers from across the Arab world, this collection opens numerous windows onto Arab culture and society and offers keen insights into what Arab women feel and think. The stories deal not only with feminist issues but also with topics of a social, cultural, and political nature. Different styles and modes of writing are represented, along with a diversity of techniques and creative approaches, and the authors present many points of view and various ways of solving problems and confronting situations in everyday life. Lively, outspoken, and provocative, these stories are essential reading for anyone interested in the Arab world.

Dalya Cohen-Mor is an independent scholar educated in the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. She is the author of A Matter of Fate: The Concept of Fate in the Arab World as Reflected in Modern Arabic Literature and Yusuf Idris: Changing Visions, as well as the editor and translator of An Arabian Mosaic: Short Stories by Arab Women Writers.